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One Planet - WBA Bushwalking Light Hiking Pack
WBA is One Planet's answer to a lightweight, full-sized pack, and it lives up to its moniker: it weighs bugger all. The WBA’s 200 gsm, lightweight canvas is heavier than faddy, ultralight nylon fabrics, but also much tougher, providing greater resistance to UV rays, the weather, and general wear and tear. New for the 2011 model, there is a bottle pocket behind each wing of the hipbelt.
Canvas-bound seams keep the water out, while the optional daypack can be easily attached to the front and/or back of the rucksack – an ingenious addition, and very handy for side trips. The Exact Fit harness is designed for loads of up to 20–25 kilograms, making the WBA well-suited to extended trips. (eight fits are available, and the pack comes in three capacities: 55, 60 and 65 litres.)
There are lighter pack fabrics out there. However, our 200 gsm canvas ticks all the boxes for Australian and New Zealand bushwalking: high UV and water resistance, as well as reasonable scrub resistance.
One Planet's Exact Fit is the only large rucksack harness to be endorsed by the Chiropractors' Association of Australia: a testament to its comfort and the low stress it places on the body. We have spent more than two decades continuously improving the Exact Fit harness system, making it the most comfortable, durable and convenient harness on the market.
The Exact Fit harness is now available in up to eight harness fits, with four male and four female fits available in three back lengths. Other brands have a maximum of four harness sizes: whose do you think will fit better? The Exact Fit system aims to give optimum comfort, allow freedom of movement, minimise stresses on the body (especially the spine), and to facilitate an exact fit without the pack leaving your back. So whether you’re shaped like Elle Macpherson or your mum, with a One Planet rucksack you’ll get a comfortable fit.
For a harness to be comfortable and stresses minimised, a large proportion of the load should be able to be carried on the hips. The Exact Fit system has the ability to transfer the majority of the load down the frame to the hipbelt, from where it is distributed evenly around the small of the back and the hips, bypassing the spine and reducing skeletal stress and fatigue.
To stabilise the top part of the pack, a comfortable portion of the load needs to be carried on the shoulders. How much weight is carried here is a matter of personal preference. We recommend adjusting the shoulder strap (the strap under the armpits, which transfers the load between the hips and shoulders) until the most comfortable position is found. The shoulder-strap tension may require adjusting throughout the day as some people prefer it slightly looser when walking uphill, and slightly tighter when walking down.
How the Exact Fit harness system works
This distribution of weight to key areas of the body is allowed by precise control over the relationship between the back length, shoulder straps and hipbelt. Adjustments to these components are easily made while the pack is on your back, so the harness fits exactly, all of the time. Adjusting buckles on either side of the hipbelt make the Exact Fit harness far simpler to use than other harnesses.
The shoulder straps are shaped to distribute weight evenly and over as large an area as possible, eliminating pressure points. Correct positioning is ensured as the Exact Fit harness system enables the user to precisely adjust the length from the hips to the shoulders. This allows the shoulder straps to perform their primary purpose – to stabilise and balance weight in the upper section of the pack.
The hipbelt transfers a large proportion of the load from the pack to the body, making it a vital component of your pack. The angle of the Exact Fit hipbelt is controlled by a buckle, so it can be adjusted to follow the curves of your lumbar and hips. It is also pre-shaped and wrinkle free, guaranteeing a comfortable fit. The two-to-one mechanical-advantage adjustment system means that little effort is required for a snug, load-bearing fit.
The Exact Fit harness system uses an extra heavy-duty, load-bearing hipbelt to prevent the hipbelt foam from distorting when carrying really heavy loads. The shoulder straps are constructed using a combination of high-density EVA foam laminated with breathable, rot-inhibited open-cell foam and a hard-wearing, 500 gsm air mesh in areas in contact with the body. The foam in the hipbelt and shoulder straps has been selected for its suitability for hot Australian conditions. (Excessive heat can affect the structure of closed-cell foam. This, combined with pressure, can permanently damage the foam’s ability to recover from compression.)
Unique bottle-storage pockets are located behind and above the Exact Fit hipbelt (as well as on the Shadow), as shown. This is the optimum load-carrying position, and also gives easy access to your drinks. Bottle hydration units (bottles with hoses) can be used in these pockets, giving ‘on the go’ drink availability, easy refilling and fluid-level monitoring.
Limit of comfort:
As much as your legs can handle...
All One Planet rucksacks with the Exact Fit harness have two bottle pockets integrated into the harness, as does the Shadow.
The pockets are easy to access while on the go, ensuring that water is at hand and saving valuable pack space. They can also hold water bladders of up to one-and-a-half litres in capacity.
Often your rucksack won't be stuffed full. This can lead to an unstable load, as the contents shift and affect your balance. All One Planet rucksacks have compression straps, designed to cinch in the load and keep it stable. These are angled so that they lift the load up to a better carrying position, even when the pack isn’t full. These straps are hot cut to the appropriate entry angle, then bar tacked and triple-stitched in place, giving them incredible strength.
Compression straps can also be used to attach things to the outside of a pack. For example, a mat or tent can be carried using the bottom straps (pictured).These straps can also help to keep the load high and close to your back when the pack is only partially full.
There is the option of attaching a compatible daypack to many of our larger rucksacks using the innovative hook-buckles on their side compression straps. The aluminium buckles are robust and easy to use, and barely noticeable when not required.
All top-loading One Planet packs with an Exact Fit harness have a ‘floating’ lid, allowing the rucksack’s capacity to be increased by up to ten litres. Simply loosen the three webbing straps at the rear of the lid and pull it upwards and voila: your pack is bigger!
The maximum pack space can then be used by extending into the internal throat of the pack. However, this expansion is intended for extreme circumstances only as the weatherproofing of the pack is somewhat compromised when the lid is raised.
Rucksacks with two openings and compartments allow easy organisation of your gear. If you’re someone who likes to pack a pack ‘just so’, then this style of pack is for you! Dual access also makes it easy to reach contents at the bottom of the pack, so you don’t have to unpack completely to reach your sleeping bag.
In addition to the standard top opening, a large zip at the bottom of the pack (pictured) gives an extra access point. Inside, a floating divider separates the load into two compartments if desired, or can remain as reinforcement to the rucksack’s floor. This method of separating the compartments is hassle-free and allows you to top-load your pack, no matter how ‘full’ the bottom compartment. In contrast, fastening and unfastening the other styles of dividers – zip in, drawstring etc – is annoying, and unless the bottom compartment is full, top-loading your rucksack leads to an unstable, under filled pack.
Most One Planet hybrid and travel packs have two compartments, as do several of our bushwalking models. Rucksacks with dual access are: Sidetrack, Strezlecki, Angus, Tasman, Longreach and Tom Thumb.
Many bushwalkers put their sleeping bag in the bottom section for ready access, or use this compartment to keep wet or dirty clothes separated from your clean(er) kit. The bottom zip does provide an extra possible point for water to enter, although the contoured cover on One Planet zips reduces this risk.
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